Lancashire cuts

Update January 12 2011: The link to the pdf on Lancashire council’s site below seems to have broken, so I reposted it here.

So – here’s a sorry pile to read, if you were looking for one: Lancashire county council’s proposals for service cuts.

Not much escapes the scythe here. Note the proposal to tighten eligibility criteria for adults needing care (page 18: the council wants to raise the base eligibility rate from “moderate to substantial”) and to increase charges for homecare (page 68). There’s a general proposal to cut the overall level of non-residential social care services: a move that would reduce the levels of support by up to 20%.

As one parent of a severely disabled man said to me today – “they’re going to consult us on how they cut, but they’ve already decided to do it and decided how in a fair amount of detail.” Indeed they have. A great deal of time has been spent on the paper linked to above.

Here’s a rundown of proposals for adult and children’s services:

Fair access to care eligibility (criteria for eligibility to be stricter)
Reduce training budget
Reduction in resources fund
Reduce overall level of non-residential social care services
Reduce provision of transport and introduce charges for service users
Reduce cost of inhouse service provision
Reduce expenditure on supporting people programme
Remodel of learning disability supported living services
Reduce social care assessment and care management staff
Libraries staff and service rationalisation
Reduce level of grant support to the arts

Children and Young People

Transforming care services – reducing the number of authority residential places and the number of adolescents accommodated in children’s home provision.
Review of reshaping respite provision and direct payments for children with disabilities
Specialist special educational needs and disability (SEND) transport
Statutory responsibility for schools
Restructuring the young people’s service
Early Years/Family Support
Interest on School balances

Reduction in area based grant funded services:

• Connexions grant
• Prevention fund
• School facing activities
• Teenage pregnancy

A list of shame, if I ever saw one.

The “consultation” will run until February. We’ll have more on it.

7 thoughts on “Lancashire cuts

  1. It’s certainly hard to believe that these cuts aren’t ideologically driven when you see that list. Shameful is the word. Not in my name and not on your watch (thankfully). Sickening.

  2. Am I noticing extra invective from Northern Tory councils? I suppose Hammersmith and Fulham in London is pretty vile too. An awful lot of thought has gone into these proposals though – like they had every office they could make available on it.

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  5. Lancashire is a ‘cash rich’ council with £110m reserves. It came off relatively lightly from the central government cuts to Local Authorities. It’s making these ‘slash and burn’ cuts enthusiastically in an attempt to move towards ‘small government’ i.e. no services, and it’s targeting the vulnerable because it thinks they won’t fight back. This time they will. You will see the elderly, the carers and the disabled on the streets even though its hard. Lancashire confirms its budget this week but intends not to make an announcement. Staff are massively demoralized – prospect of 6,000 job losses – there are already group (rather than individual) ‘leaving dos’ being held. Yet there seems no publicity.

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